Updated May 25, 2020
SAT scores are one of the most critical elements in your college application. They can make the difference between an application that gets accepted—or rejected—from your dream school.
There are an overwhelming number of SAT prep course options out there. Whether you like to walk yourself through a course or want the help of a personal coach; whether you have a year to study or just a month; or whether you want to learn through video lessons or just drill practice questions, there is a course for everyone.
How do you know which SAT prep course is right for you? We’ve made it EASY! We’ve personally researched and reviewed every major SAT prep course. The comparison chart below looks at all of the top SAT courses to help you figure out which are the best ones for you.
Please note that several of the links included below are affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, we may earn a referral commission if you use one of the courses below. Please understand that affiliate commissions do not affect the content we produce or the recommendations we make. Only use the links if you have been helped by our review!
SAT Prep Course Reviews & Exclusive Discounts
|COMPANY||Magoosh SAT||Princeton Review SAT||Prep Expert SAT||Testive SAT||Kaplan SAT||PrepScholar SAT|
|GUARANTEE||100 point improvement guarantee||Higher score guarantee||200 point improvement guarantee||Higher score guarantee||Higher score guarantee||160 point improvement guarantee|
|Printed Books||Available for Purchase||Included w/ Live Online and In-Person||
|STUDENT SUPPORT||Chat support &
|Personal coach||Chat & email support||Personal coach||Email, phone, social media, & chat support||Phone & email support|
|ONLINE ACCESS||1 Year||With active subscription||1 year (self-paced) or course + 60 days||With active subscription||Course + 12 weeks||1 Year|
|MORE DETAILS||Read Full Review||Read Full Review||Read Full Review||Read Full Review|
|GET STARTED||Start Now||Start Now||Start Now||Start Now||Start Now||Start Now|
Quick Links to SAT Prep Courses and Study Materials
Magoosh SAT (Rank: #1)
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a Self-Paced Online program, Magoosh offers one of the best online SAT prep options, with a good combination of features and price
The Princeton Review SAT (Rank #2)
Bottom Line: The Princeton Review offers one of the best SAT prep courses, with top-quality instruction and premium features, but comes with a heftier price tag.
Prep Expert SAT (Rank #3)
Bottom Line: Prep Expert’s top-of-the-line instructors and score improvement guarantee, along with several course options for every student’s needs, make it a solid SAT prep option for any student and an especially great course for those seeking big improvements.
Testive SAT (Rank #4)
Bottom Line: If you are really committed to improving your score and can afford it, Testive’s unique coaching approach is a great way to stay motivated and keep from getting stuck on tough concepts.
Kaplan SAT (Rank #5)
Bottom Line: In the high-end SAT prep price range, Kaplan doesn’t have the highest lesson quality, but their SAT Rapid Review Live could prove helpful right before test day.
PrepScholar SAT (Rank #6)
Bottom Line: PrepScholar offers dynamic lessons, a massive bank of practice questions, and the best guarantee out there. But they’re expensive and don’t yet have a mobile app. There are better, more well-rounded options out there.
Princeton Review vs. Kaplan SAT Prep
Kaplan and The Princeton Review are two of the names you probably hear the most when looking into test prep resources, and there’s a good reason for that. With almost 120 years of test prep between the 2 companies, they’ve been consistent sources of quality instruction and innovative coursework. They also tend to provide the most all-inclusive options, so it’s likely that you’ll find yourself weighing them against each other when deciding on SAT prep. With that in mind, we’ll compare Kaplan and Princeton Review SAT prep directly, so you can better decide for yourself which meets your needs.
Course Options and Price
Both of these companies offer the full range of course options (self-paced, live online and in-person, and private tutoring), and excel for different reasons. In addition to being less expensive, Kaplan Live options include up to 70 hours of instruction, compared to 18 dedicated classroom hours from The Princeton Review. The Princeton Review stands out with its self-paced options, which are the same price as Kaplan but offer full ACT and PSAT prep and over twice as many practice questions. Plus, there’s also a program with The Princeton Review that will fully refund the cost of your course if you are accepted and enroll in a top-100 school.
When it comes down to it, The Princeton Review takes the cake with its high number of practice questions, superior score guarantee, and its combination of ACT and PSAT materials. Keep in mind, though, that Kaplan also provides useful features of its own, like the Qbank—which lets you create customizable quizzes. Both are good options backed by years of success, so—as always—be sure to keep in mind your priorities (price, practice questions, classroom hours) when deciding which is the best choice for you.
Prep Expert vs. Princeton Review SAT
Compared to The Princeton Review, one of the most well-known names in the test prep industry, Prep Expert is a newcomer to the field. Even so, Prep Expert has quickly developed a reputation as an intense but accessible source for quality standardized-test instruction. The Princeton Review offers very inclusive packages, but if you’re concerned about their price tags, Prep Expert’s well-seasoned staff of instructors make it a competitive and fresh alternative.
Course Options and Price
When it comes to variety in course packages, The Princeton Review has a clear leg up on Prep Expert. All 5 SAT course packages from The Princeton Review come with a score improvement guarantee, while only 3 of Prep Expert’s 4 SAT prep courses have the same type of assurance. Princeton’s courses also have more variety than Prep Expert’s; with Princeton, students can take their courses in-person nationwide, online at their own pace, or online through live class sessions. Prep Expert, on the other hand, only has 2 in-person prep centers, one in New Jersey and one in Nevada. As an older and larger company, it’s not a surprise that The Princeton Review has more course options, but they also have a price tag to match their level of experience. Prep Expert is clearly more budget-friendly than The Princeton Review, as Prep Expert’s flagship course is listed at $999 while The Princeton Review’s similar 1400+ course costs $1,299, a whole $300 more.
The Princeton Review edges out Prep Expert thanks to the variety of its courses and the extensiveness of its materials, but it’s not a landslide victory. For a cheaper price, Prep Expert offers a great score improvement guarantee and expert instruction from staffers that each scored in the top 1% of test-takers on the SAT and/or ACT. Still, The Princeton Review’s decades of success in the industry make it one of the most dependable and worthwhile options for any test-taker, especially when considering their in-person courses around the country. The bottom line is that The Princeton Review can act as a SAT prep solution for almost any student, if you can afford it, but going with Prep Expert as an alternative certainly won’t do you wrong.
Magoosh vs. Kaplan SAT
Comparing Magoosh and Kaplan is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, as both companies lean toward different sides of the test-prep spectrum. Generally speaking, Kaplan has developed a reputation as a premium test-prep service, while Magoosh aims to be accessible to anyone and everyone in terms of its materials and price. Even though they aim to improve test scores in different ways, we can still compare them in terms of the variety of their course packages, their online materials, and price.
Course Options and Price
Kaplan has far more options than Magoosh when it comes to their course packages. They’ve got courses students can take at their own pace, courses held through online class sessions, in-person courses and private tutoring options. Magoosh only offers a self-paced online course, meaning that Kaplan wins out for students who don’t work as well with that learning style. If you set aside course variety though, Magoosh has some of the most effective teaching materials and strategies available online, all at ridiculously low prices. With Magoosh, students can gain access to quality video lessons for an entire year, over 1,750 practice questions, and a 100-point score improvement guarantee, for only $100. Kaplan’s cheapest offering, their On Demand SAT prep course, comes at a list price of $149, but includes only 1,000 practice questions and access to their video lessons for 6 months. It also comes with a higher score guarantee, but this guarantee isn’t quite as robust as Magoosh’s 100-point guarantee, even though Kaplan’s comes at a higher price.
When you put Kaplan and Magoosh side-by-side, it’s clear that Kaplan has more options for students who need something that caters to their unique learning style. Nonetheless, plenty of students today want to study for the SAT outside of an in-person environment and according to their own schedule—if that sounds like you, go with Magoosh. The resources they offer online are some of the most efficient and easy-to-use in the industry, and are optimized for use on mobile and desktop devices. For the price, Magoosh has a great self-paced course and has the best value of any SAT course on the market.
Best SAT App
#1 Magoosh SAT Prep App
This SAT Practice app gives students all the tools they need to maximize their SAT prep on-the-go. Over 400 practice questions, 140 video lessons, progress tracking, and video/text explanations are available to Magoosh subscription holders via this SAT practice app. Students can also download the Magoosh SAT Flashcard App, which gives them the ability to blow through core concepts, vocabulary, and equations at lightning speed. Magoosh has made a name for themselves in perfecting mobile test prep, and so it’s no surprise that their mobile app finds it way to the top of my list.
#2 Princeton Review SAT Practice App
The Princeton Review Vocab Challenge App is a great way to practice vocabulary skills and master those difficult SAT words in preparation for your test. Although it doesn’t feature the same amount of content as you will find in the mobile Magoosh platform, the ability to access flashcards on your mobile device is a huge benefit for certain students. In addition, there is also a Princeton Review Mobile app that lets students and parents track progress, set milestones, and explore other resources available through the Princeton Review.
Best SAT Flashcards
#1 Princeton Review SAT Flashcards
Princeton Review offers some of the best SAT prep resources in the country and this is the case with their SAT flashcards. With a set of 500 cards that are available in physical form and online, the Princeton Review helps students tackle reading, writing, math and—of course—vocabulary. The combination of in-hand and online is what makes the Princeton Review stand out from the others on this list, and their cards can be had for only $13.
#2 Magoosh SAT Flashcards
Magoosh offers students access to around 500 math and vocabulary flashcards in an easy-to-use online or mobile platform. Not having a physical option is a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to flashcards, as a lot of students feel that handheld cards actually help them absorb the information more easily. But Magoosh makes up for this by making their cards available in a FREE app, and accessible online or on mobile. Consider making Magoosh SAT flashcards an option as a supplement to one of the other top SAT prep courses listed above.
#3 Kaplan SAT Flashcards
Kaplan again rises towards the top of the flashcard game with their set of 600 SAT flashcards, covering Critical Reading, Writing, and Math concepts. Vocabulary words come complete with synonyms and sample sentences to help them stick in your memory. 600 is one of the biggest numbers of flashcards in a single pack on the market, and the combination of all subjects areas is what really makes Kaplan stand out in the regard.
How much do SAT prep courses cost?
In short, there’s a wide range of price points for SAT prep courses. The test prep industry is made up of a lot of competing companies with different teaching styles and course materials, and most of them offer a wide range of test prep courses, so you’ll likely find budget-friendly and premium services within each company.
The most expensive SAT prep courses can range from $1,000 to $2,300. Courses like these generally come with a really high score guarantee—such as The Princeton Review’s 1500+ course—are very intensive, and include personal instruction.
On the other hand, the cheapest SAT prep courses can range from $100 to $400. These courses are often self-paced online courses, such as Magoosh’s 1 month package, in which students are given access to practice questions and lessons that they can tackle without worrying about deadlines.
So, the cheapest SAT prep courses can be as low as $100, while the more intensive courses are often above $1,000. Keep in mind, though, that there are plenty of courses within this range that have varying durations and levels of personal instruction. If you think you might need something in between the priciest and cheapest courses, there are plenty of options in the $400–$1,000 range, such as Prep Expert’s Self-Paced Video SAT Prep Course, that could be perfect for you.
Is Kaplan’s SAT prep course worth it?
Kaplan’s SAT prep courses have always been on the more expensive side of the test-prep spectrum, but they’ve recently reduced their prices in order to better compete with a higher number of budget-friendly services. Compared to other SAT prep services, Kaplan doesn’t offer as many options in terms of course packages. Still, even their cheaper SAT On Demand package offers a decent amount of materials for a budget-friendly price.
When you look at their other course packages and competitors in their price range, we might advise you to check out other options. For a list price of $899, Kaplan offers 18 hours of SAT instruction and 40 hours of video lessons. For the same list price, The Princeton Review’s Ultimate course grants the same amount of instruction plus access to both PSAT and ACT materials.
When we look at Kaplan’s $149 On Demand option, too, we can’t see many reasons to choose it over Magoosh’s $100 1 month package. So, at nearly every price point, we see better alternatives with Kaplan’s competitors.
That doesn’t mean that Kaplan won’t work for you, though, as every company’s teaching style works best with specific students; be sure to check out Kaplan’s SAT test prep courses to decide for yourself if they’re a worthwhile option.
What is the best SAT prep course?
Generally, we’d say that the best SAT prep course is the one that meets your needs. Prep courses come at a wide range of price points and with different offerings, and since every student learns differently, it’s hard to claim that any prep course will be the best option for the majority of students.
With that being said, we still have a favorite when it comes to balancing quality materials and instruction with a price that’ll make buyers happy: Magoosh. Magoosh’s online self-paced course will provide students with a 100-point score improvement guarantee for only $100, showing just how confident they are in their offerings and just how cheaply they’re willing to provide them. Again, though, Magoosh only offers self-paced online courses, so if you’re a student that needs in-person or online class sessions to really learn, Magoosh won’t be the best option for you.
Check out our SAT prep course comparison table, and our full, in-depth reviews of each test prep course to identify which service may best suit your needs—you’ve got plenty of options, and each has their pros and cons, but we’re sure you’ll find something that suits you!
What is the best SAT prep book?
Many test prep services offer online or physical books to accompany their other materials, video lessons, and class sessions. Prep Expert has a series of SAT books that cover each section of the test, and this is included with their self-paced video course, but only in the form of online downloads. The Princeton Review and Kaplan both include books with their live online and in-person courses. Magoosh does have an SAT prep book, but it doesn’t come included with any of their courses.
All in all, The Princeton Review’s SAT books have served students well for years, boasting an impressive 4.5 star review on Amazon. Prep Expert offers a cheap but quality alternative in their 6 SAT book series for $10 per book, though these are all included in most of their courses. Although these books are full of good information, the best way to get the most out of these books is to read them in the context of the courses that include them. Books like these are designed to accompanyprep course materials such as video lessons and class sessions—they’re a helpful guide that can make sense of the material you’re learning within a productive classroom setting. So, rather than take these books on their own, we highly recommend that you use them to supplement a course that’s fully designed to give you the best SAT outcome possible.
What SAT prep courses are near me?
With an increasingly internet-connected world, more test-prep services are expanding their dedicated online courses, but there are plenty of courses that include in-person instruction for students that would rather learn face-to-face.
If you’re in the Princeton, NJ or Las Vegas, NV areas, we would definitely recommend that you look into Prep Expert’s in-person courses. They offer 6-week or 3-week SAT courses through their test centers in those cities, taught by instructors that scored at least in the top 1% of test takers on the exam.
If you’re outside of those areas, then The Princeton Review SAT or Kaplan SAT courses will likely be the best option for you. These in-person courses are the most widespread of any service, and they hire expert instructors to teach sessions that are hosted at community institutions around the nation.
Top 7 Best SAT Prep Courses of 2020
|SAT Courses||Best For…||Course Price|
|Magoosh SAT||Best Value||$79|
|The Princeton Review SAT||Most Course Options||$299|
|Prep Expert SAT||Point Guarantee||$599|
|Testive SAT||Personal Coaching||$399|
|Kaplan SAT||Printed Materials||$249|
|Prepscholar SAT||Point Guarantee||$347|
|Kranse Institute SAT||Video Lessons||$599|